Consumers shopping for flooring can be forgiven if they assume “CFS” is some new TV crime show spin-off coming this fall. Most likely, the typical shopper has no idea what this acronym really means. That’s understandable. But if you are in the business of selling flooring, you most certainly should know what “CFS” stands for: It stands for integrity and it stands for expertise in flooring. Most importantly, it stands for the future our industry. It would be a crime for anyone in our business to overlook the growing significance of these three letters.
course is short for “Certified Flooring Sales Consultant.” Launched by World
Floor Covering Association (WFCA) about five years ago, it has been a hugely
important program. Now, a recently finalized agreement that includes three of
the heavyweights of our industry means it will grown bigger and take on even
greater significance. Armstrong World Industries, CCA Global Partners and
Mohawk Industries have agreed to incorporate the WFCA certification program as
part of their respective educational programs. Clearly, this means the WFCA
program is well on its way to becoming the industry standard. That is very good
“CFS” designation appears after someone’s name it confirms that they are a bona
fide flooring pro. They have successful completed the WFCA’s certification
program and have demonstrated their knowledge on a written examination. It’s
not a program that teaches people how to sell. It’s focused on what they sell.
The characteristics of every floor type and their specific installation
requirements; why one type of flooring will work where another may fail. And of
course, that age old head-scratcher: What exactly do they mean by “luxury vinyl
WFCA’s Certification Program has been around since 2002. In addition to
certification for salespeople there is CFE (Certified Flooring Executive) for
top management and CFP (Certified Flooring Professional) for cleaners,
inspectors and other non-retailers. These are programs that recognize that
flooring is highly unique and complex enterprise that demands knowledge both
technical and aesthetic. Even those who have been in the business for years can
greatly benefit from these educational initiatives.
WFCA’s decision to expand the program could not come at a better time. Our
industry has been hurt by a soft real estate market. Fewer homes are being
built or remodeled and that means demand for new residential flooring has
slackened considerably. But taking a classic “turn-lemons-into-lemonade
approach,” the real flooring pros see the sour business conditions as a chance
to leverage their biggest advantage: floor covering know-how. Those retailers
committed to quality flooring and expert installations offer a level of
expertise that sets them apart.
point was clearly on the mind of Bob Hill when he helped engineer the agreement
to widen the CFS program. Hill, the president of Floor Covering Associates,
Inc., in Naperville, Ill. orchestrated the cooperative agreement while he was
serving as chairman of the WFCA. No doubt he was drawing on this experience as
a highly accomplished floor covering pro when he communicated the No.1 benefit.
another important tool to help independent retailers differentiate themselves
from home centers and online stores,” said Hill. “With the vast number of new
products and methods available today, floor covering is no longer a simple
Although one could argue that flooring has never really been a
“simple consumer product,” Hill’s point is well taken. There is no question the
products our industry offers have become far more complicated and wide ranging;
and so too has the playing field. The hands reaching for a slice of the pie
include big box retailers and internet-only outfits that sell flooring the way
a fast food joint sells burgers. Flooring pros know that products so crucial to
a home’s décor deserve much better-and so does the WFCA.
WFCA program proves it IS what you know
October 16, 2007